Genie def. Alize Cornet (FRA) 6-4 4-6 6-1
Q. How did it feel that you managed to pull through that one and fight through it? What kind of confidence does it give you?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, I’m proud of myself, how I stepped up and I think played even better in the third set. Alizé is such a fighter. She doesn’t give you anything. It was a tough battle.
It was my first match win in Madrid, so I’m very, very happy about that. Fourth time’s a charm (smiling).
Q. After the second set, what were you kind of trying to tell yourself to reengage? The end of the second, looked like you were a little frustrated, loss of rhythm. How did you lock back in?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, well, I called Thomas. After the match he told me I should have called him in the second set because it was weird, the second set. We actually kept breaking each other. I had chances to always kind of get a break ahead, but I couldn’t kind of consolidate the break. That was one of my lessons after the match, to have called him a bit earlier.
After the second, he told me to control a bit more. I think I became more aggressive, which helped me. I kind of backed off a little bit in the second. As soon as I would hit a little bit of a slower ball, she would take advantage of that. That’s where I had a bit of trouble, I think.
Q. Obviously not been the easiest of years since Australia for you. What was the motivation like going through the past couple of months with a lot of losses, early losses? How did you keep yourself, like, present and in the moment, in the matches?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, I’ve had a very tough couple of months. Had some really tough moments. Have just been trying to work through them.
I did some soul searching, some internal self-discovery. I worked on also external things, some of my shots.
So, you know, it showed me that I had a lot to work on, which I’m still very much in the process of. I’m still at the very beginning of trying to improve.
But I kept going through it. You know, just to get a win for me is a step because, you know, I haven’t gotten a lot of those lately. I’m going to, you know, be proud of this, yeah.
Q. You mentioned soul searching. As much as you are willing to share with us, what did you discover?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I discovered a lot of black, like my outfit.
No, it’s tough. That’s the way life is. That’s the way tennis is. Yeah, I just really found out that my true team I can rely on. Tried to really realize what was going on mentally, feeling the pressures. Even though I was losing matches, I still felt pressure to win matches.
But then I thought to myself, Well, I’ve lost like five first rounds in a row, I should have nothing to lose. I tried to change my mentality a little bit, and to also just stop worrying about external things.
Yeah, just kind of a lot was going on. Just been slowly trying to get back on the right path.
Q. What was it like going back to the ITF circuit, as well? I’m sure that was part of your process. How did it help you?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: For sure, it was part of the process. I made the decision myself kind of against my coaches’, actually, opinions. I told myself, Look, you can’t win a match at the WTA level. This is your punishment. You’re going down to ITF. I didn’t even win the tournament there, which was fine.
I just wanted to, like, kind of ground myself a little bit. It brought back such memories of, like, five years ago as a junior kind of playing those events. So different. You don’t need accreditation, all these weird things that just aren’t there.
See, you’re living the good life. You need to go back and see what the real world is like, grind it out in challengers. There’s some good players there. It’s tough. You can’t just win that tournament easily, so…
It was eye-opening, a good reality check for me. It was good, even though the result wasn’t great.
Q. Obviously you have a day off tomorrow, then your second round on Monday or Tuesday. Either Maria Sharapova next or Baroni. Can you look at those two opponents in the next round a little bit.
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, I think they both play similar, aggressive tennis. But I hope I can play Maria.
Q. Do you think, if you do play Maria, there might be an extra element to it just because of the comments you made recently? Are you able to not think about anything besides the tennis?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Once I step on the court, everything will be to the side. But, you know, inside myself, I think I’ll have a bit more motivation. But it’s very important, once I step on the court, no matter who is on the other side, to focus on the tennis. Or else I think it’s easy to lose concentration.
Q. You’ve obviously been very pronounced in your statement the other week with regards to Maria returning to the tour. Was that based on how you feel from an emotional perspective, moral perspective, or how it’s been decided from the CAS report? How did you come to this sort of conclusion for yourself?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: It’s my personal opinion. I’ve always played true my whole career. Yeah, it’s just my opinion.
Q. Do you often prepare for matches on couches in hallways covered in towels?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: You saw me, huh? I was in the players lounge. Players lounge these days, they sometimes turn into daycare. It was quite noisy and loud. I think they should have a separate kids section.
So that was the only place I could find peace. Although I had a bunch of you guys walking by. Oh, my God, what are they going to think? I’m depressed in the corner or something, so nervous.
No, I was just trying to find some peace and quiet.
Q. I don’t know if it was a joke or not, but the soul searching, finding black, all that sort of stuff. Can you kind of elaborate on that just a little bit in terms of what were the tough things that you had to face? It’s never an easy process to ask those questions of oneself.
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: For sure, it’s not. It was a little bit of a process of discovering what emotions I was really feeling, whether it was fear or pressure, other things, and actually just facing it, maybe not just avoiding it and the thinking, I can just go through life and avoid emotions. As much as I don’t like being emotional, you have to kind of confront your emotions and deal with them.
Yeah, it was more about figuring out what’s going on, why, just being really honest with myself. Yeah, it was an important lesson that I will hopefully continue to implement, to just constantly be honest with yourself. I think that’s the most important thing.